I’ve recently been asked how one can determine when to help others, especially when it isn’t clear whether we should or not. It is a difficult question. As Christians, we are often moved and indeed commanded to help others in need, but we must […]
Author: Tracie Dawson
Mothers, co-laborers, baby poolers and carpoolers, those who work outside of the home and those who stay and work in the home, those nesting or sweeping clean an emptied nest…Happy Mother’s Day! As I talk to countless mothers, one common fear among us surfaces quite […]
In my last post, I described a situation familiar to most parents of young children: a seemingly ordinary drive when my two-year-old began to totally freak out. She seemed to go from 0 to 60 mph in about 5 seconds flat and none of us knew how to help her because she didn’t have the words to express her frustration or what was wrong.
Every parent meets “the beast” in their child somewhere around that second birthday— there’s a reason why most call them the “terrible” two’s. Although she has two older siblings, parenting young children is exhausting and I find that I have forgotten some of the finer points of dealing with these rapidly growing and developing little people.
After that night in the car, I became more committed to helping my youngest express herself.
When each of our children were babies, we began with infant sign language- teaching them to sign simple words with easy hand gestures. We taught just a few of them that we knew they would use a lot: “thirsty” (or drink), “more” (as in, more please!), “all done,” “stop,” and “thank you.” (You can find lots of resources and specialists online to help you teach simple signs to your infant if that is your current state in parenting.) It is a huge relief to understand what your baby wants and needs even though they can’t form the words with their mouths yet.
Some of those high frequency words / phrases were the first our children learned to speak as well– after da-da, and ma-ma, of course! And you will see most of them in this expanded list of 10 EASY phrases to teach and empower your toddler or preschooler.
With the first 5 phrases, (as shared in my previous post,) I also explained why I might choose to teach her to say, “let’s share” instead of “my turn”…or teaching her to ask for help before I rush to do something for her. Each phrase takes time and effort to offer and demonstrate for a child, but once they get them, it can make the difference between a slight annoyance at a selfish playmate and an all-out tug-of-war over a random toy.
The goal is to empower our children and help them build confidence in their interactions with others.
Of course, every child is unique and develops social skills at their own rate, so these phrases are just options and ideas that I share with you, hoping that at least one if not all of them, might prove helpful at some point in these early years. I am no expert in child development, just experienced. I have raised three children and I too, enjoy helpful advice from other seasoned mothers while passing along tips that might help you as well!
Here are the last of the 5 EASY phrases to teach and empower your toddler / preschooler:
6. That hurts! – A seemingly obvious phrase, but it is applicable to many circumstances: rough play, combing tangled hair, snaps that pinch, too-tight shoes, a wet / messy diaper etc… Toddlers are quickly familiarized with pain, whether it be from falling, tripping, bumping their head, and whatnot. It is very challenging learning to navigate a big world with tiny bodies, and sometimes that learning curve feels more like a cliff to our little ones! Giving them the words to express those unpleasant feelings is empowering and clues the parent / caregiver in to what WE can do to help address their discomfort.
One evening last fall, I was driving our 13, 11, and 2-year-old home from an activity and little one was cranky, tired, and in desperate need of who-knows-what…When that couldn’t be found she resorted to mumbling and sputtering every word she could think of— crying […]
We have been talking about violence in the world today in my last 2 posts and I must admit, it can be very overwhelming and hard to remain positive or hopeful with new reports of violence daily. We know more about what is happening in our local communities, our nation, and around the world, but unfortunately, most of that news entails some type of disorder or bloodshed. Most of us wonder if violence is on the rise, or if technology merely allows us to see more of what happens around the world. Personally, I don’t know, but I do believe that the more we know, the heavier our hearts may feel the weight of such pain and injustice.
Solomon encountered this dilemma in his quest for understanding wisdom, madness and folly, and eventually concluded it was futile: “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow: the more knowledge, the more grief.” Eccl 1:18
He looked at everything that was happening in the world at that time, tried desperately to understand it, but could not. In fact, the more he knew, the greater his frustration. “What is twisted cannot be straightened, what is lacking cannot be counted.” Eccl 1:15
Keeping up with current events can be frightening. There are new reports of violence, murder, abuse, and devastation each and every day. Sensational stories receive the most attention and to an alert and watching child, they may cause fear and anxiety in their young, impressionable mind. […]
Recently, another heartbreaking event occurred. A church massacre left 26 dead and 20 more wounded. And now there has been another school shooting. And unfortunately, we can probably expect more. We take to social media with comments like, “What do we tell our children? […]
Never before have I ever been so terrified for a complete stranger.
He was no ordinary stranger though, he was a child.
We were gathering at an outlook on Machu Picchu, situated atop a mountain at an altitude of almost 8,000 feet, looking out over a gorge hundreds if not a thousand feet below and there was NO GUARDRAIL!